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Na wins 2016-17 Presidential Fellowship

Having a passion for engineering at an early age has paid off for Ph.D. student Dong-Yeop Na, who just won The Ohio State University’s prestigious Graduate School Presidential Fellowship.

Na said electromagnetics and physics have continually fascinated him ever since he was in middle school. He is currently a graduate research associate at the ElectroScience Lab (ESL).

“I enjoyed thinking and associating my knowledge to the physical phenomena that surround us and are present in our daily lives,” Na said. “This nurtured my dream to become an engineer and eventually made me pursue my BS and MS major in electrical engineering.”

A desire for a more in-depth and specialized curriculum finally led him to Ohio State’s electrical and computer engineering graduate program, renowned for its research on antennas and computational electromagnetics (CEM).

“It seemed best for me and it has great teachers, such as my adviser, Dr. Fernando Teixeira,” Na said. “Plus, the presence of the specialized research facility, ESL, convinced me that coming to this place will help me grow and learn more about the field of electromagnetics.”

Na’s research work is focused on solving the dynamics of charged-particles, such as electrons and ions, the fundamentals of relativistic kinetics and electromagnetics associated with multi-physics.

“With the aid of computer simulations, which mimic the extremely huge scale of the particle world, I am trying to simulate practical application, such as high-power microwave sources and plasma physics using the particle-in-cell (PIC) algorithm,” he said, “which is the combination of discrete electromagnetics and Newton-Lorentz equations of motion.”

Regarding his work and impact to society at large, Na said his algorithm can be applied to realistic computer experiments which help to efficiently design and set up massive experiments for particle accelerators, magnetic confinement fusion devices, and vacuum electronic devices.

The Ohio State Gradate School’s Presidential Fellowship recognizes “outstanding scholarship and research ability” and provides winners with the funding necessary to focus full time on the final phase of their dissertation research. It is considered the most competitive scholarly recognition the Graduate School offers. The award includes a taxable monthly stipend of $2,168 for up to three terms or until graduation. Na’s fellowship also pays his academic tuition and fees, health insurance, parking, plus a $250 travel allowance to help encourage presentations of his research at professional meetings.

Looking forward, Na remains open to wherever his education leads him.

“Definitely, I would like to continue working and developing my skills and knowledge related to the research I have been previously studying, those involving electromagnetic simulations, designs and measurement tools used for practical applications, may it be in the industrial market, academia or in a research facility,” he said.